Over the weekend the Daily Downward Dog (DDD) celebrated its one-year birthday! Like a proud mother, I’m feeling a little nostalgic, and I just can’t believe my little yogini baby is already one year old. I’m also getting the strong urge to dig my hands and face into a big ol’ birthday cake with a thick layer of gooey frosting. I just had the pleasure of witnessing my great-nephew do the same cake dive on his first birthday, and it looked pretty darn fun!

If you are interested in the humble beginnings of The Daily Downward Dog, it first launched as part of MariaMedia in February of 2010. The DDD was a small part of the content that comprised MariaMedia and included quick little musings about my budding yoga practice. I quickly realized that this yoga thing had blossomed into an addiction and spun off The Daily Downward Dog as its own Web site on August 20, 2010.

To celebrate, I thought it would be fun (well, fun for me; not so sure about you) to go back over the year and pick out a few highlights—kind of like the “Year in Review” issue of People magazine—covering everything from a 83-year-young yogini to finding your yogic path on a Wienermobile. And then, in a serendipitous twist of fate, one of my fellow Ohio bloggers, Becca of @peacelovebagels, nominated me to participate in the “My 7 links” social media meme, and the themes for the seven links to my blog just magically wrapped their way around my year-end review.

Yoga Victories/Most Proud Of: One of my favorite things about yoga for me and my students is celebrating all the progress you make as your body gets stronger and more flexible. I call these yoga victories, and I chronicled quite a few of mine from the first time I made it into tripod headstand in “Amazing Yoga Moments” (9/2) to getting all the way into a headstand in “With A Little Help” (9/22), and “Making Dreams Come True” (4/19).

Becoming a Yoga Teacher/A Defining Moment: When I started The Daily Downward Dog, I had no idea I would ever become a yoga teacher, but just a little less than a month after launching the DDD, I enrolled in yoga-teacher training. In “Bliss and Joy” (10/26) I wrote about the bliss I felt immediately after teaching my very first yoga class, then moved on to my very first teaching job in “A Toast to First Times” (12/7) and the thrill of becoming an “Official Card-Carrying Member” of the Yoga Alliance (5/10).

I’ve Got the Music in Me/Most Popular Post(s): Last September, when I stood in mountain pose during a yoga class and heard the song “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” ringing in my ears, I got the inspiration for yoga theme songs. Since the birth of the yoga theme song, I’ve shared yogic musical inspiration from Lenny Kravitz, Natalie Cole, Elton John, Chicago, MC Yogi, Kiss, The Monkees, Kenny Chesney, and the New Radicals. Music and yoga are two of my biggest passions, and you can catch up on a whole year of yoga-class playlists and yoga song parodies on the Cool Yoga Music page.

Demystifying Yoga/Most Helpful: When you are new to yoga, it can be a bit intimidating, and I really like to guide new students through some of the areas that mystified me when I first started. Throughout the year I covered topics like what namaste means (“Namaste 101,” 10/4; “What’s Om Got to Do With It?” 8/23; “Does Chi Mean Pain?” 8/24; “The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Om,” 10/6) and got published on the Urban Dictionary by coining the definition of yogalicious (12/12). You can find more articles like this on the Yoga 101 page.

High Times/Most Controversial (well, sort of): Yep, I’m not afraid to admit it; I’m a yoga addict and I will go on the record to say that the best high I ever get is a direct result from practicing yoga. Achieving the yoga high was a consistent theme on the DDD, but I especially liked “In Search of the Yoga High” (11/9), “Yoga You Had Me at Hello,” (2/9) and “Yoga Crack” (8/11).

Community Confessions/Surprise Success: I really tried to keep it real and bare my soul, and when I did it really resonated with the yoga community. These blogs really sparked some great conversation, and I loved how the yoga kula all came out to join me in the confession booth. If you like a good conversation, you will like these blogs: “Neti Pot Confessions” (3/24), “Real-Life Confessions of a Yoga Teacher” (4/1), “Confessions of a Kirtan Virgin” (4/26), and “Battle of the Languages: Sanskrit vs. English” (6/21).

YOGARS/Not Enough Attention: I’m a big Oscar-award geek, and on the same day they announced the Oscar nominees, I announced my YOGAR nominees for best asana, best supporting asana, etc. The winners were announced on February 28, and I’ve been busy ever since researching and preparing for the 2011 nominations. I’m hoping the YOGARS really take off this next year.

Ho Ho Hah/Funniest: Last year I attended my very first laughter yoga class and loved it! I’m really hoping I can get certified as a laughter yoga instructor sometime in the next year, but until then you can read all about why laughter yoga is so dang cool in “Do You Suffer from Serious Disorder?” (10/15), “Get Your Giggle On (1/28),” and the “Best Bedtime Story” (4/12).


It has been a yogalicious year, and I want to thank everyone who stopped by The Daily Downward Dog and for all the love and support the yoga community has shown. You know who you are and you ROCK!

I set some dreams out into the universe this past year, and quite a few of them came true! When I blow out my birthday candles this year, I am going to be sending out a few new dreams and wishes, so watch out; my intentions have proven to be pretty powerful!

I never follow the rules, so, of course, I have way more than seven links in here and even felt the need to add one more category. Here are my nominations to pass along “The #7Links” baton:

Meredith at The Pondering Yogini

Cathy at CIE Change

Lo at Y is for Yogini

Erica at Spoiled Yogi

Brian at Daily Cup of Yoga

…or anyone who wants to join in the fun!